Forget Everything but the Messiah

We become identified with him.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life.

Forget everything.

1 Cor 2:2 – for I [Apostle Paul] had decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal. (CJB)

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Does that seem like odd advice, a strange practice?

Pause and consider everything that you will forget, everything that you will let go if you follow apostle Paul’s example.

Are you willing to forget and let go everything? Do you hesitate to let go of everything you know? What will it cost you? What will you gain?

Follow this rule.

Gal 6:14-16 – May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (NRSV)

Boast.
Pay attention to the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart. What boasting do you discover?

Reality.
Crucified.
The world has been crucified to me.
I have been crucified to the world.
By the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Crucified: to extinguish, subdue passion or selfishness.1

Is this your reality? Or are you still living an illusion? Are you still struggling with selfishness and unable to extinguish passions and addictions, controlled by people and things other than the One who gave his life for you, who asks for nothing less than your life in return?

A new creation is everything.
May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May peace and mercy be upon those who follow this rule.
Peace: to join; prosperity; one, quietness, rest, set at one again.2
Mercy: human or divine compassion, especially active.3

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them. What does he want you to forget and let go?

What thoughts and questions and emotions arise?

Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

A Medical Description of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

This may disturb you, so don’t read it if you don’t want to; it’s pretty horrific…

The physical trauma of Christ begins in Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His suffering – the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by; they spat on Him and struck Him in the face.

In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.

At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.

Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.

Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from his back. This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain – almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.

The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey. The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.

At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”

He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.4

“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Why are we admonished to do this?

Jesus the Messiah included everyone.

2 Cor 5:15-17 – He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! (MSG)

Look. Look inside.
Jesus the Messiah included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life.
A resurrection life! A life far better than people ever lived on their own.

Let the words settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life in you, until you identify with Christ, until you know he included you in his death, until you know he included you in his life, resurrection life.

What thoughts and questions and emotions arise?

May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Become identified with him.
United with him.
Included in his life.

“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Ps 31:5 – Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. (ESV)

Commit: deliver to keep, make overseer5
Redeemed: to sever, to release, preserve.6

We look inside.
We see that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.

A new creation.
Into your hand I commit my spirit.
You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
You have.
You have included me in your death.
You have included me in your resurrection life.
Into your hand I commit my spirit.
I deliver my spirit into your hand to keep it, to oversee it.

So that he might bring you to God.

1 Peter 3:18 – For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; (CJB)

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah,
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Become identified with him.
United with him.
Included in his life.
Brought to life by the Spirit.

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda, to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own. Become acquainted with resurrection life, here, now, a life far better than a life you can live on your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him. Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah.

And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal, put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit. And know that he included you!

Ps 31:5 – Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. (ESV)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

Into your hand I commit my spirit;

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah, included in his life.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him, living resurrection life with him.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Crucified: NT:4717 <START GREEK>stauro/w<END GREEK> stauroo (stow-ro’-o); from NT:4716; to impale on the cross; figuratively, to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness:

(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Peace: NT:1515 <START GREEK>ei)rh/nh<END GREEK> eirene (i-ray’-nay); probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity: KJV – one, peace, quietness, rest,  set at one again. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Mercy: NT:1656 <START GREEK>e&leo$<END GREEK> eleos (el’-eh-os); of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active): KJV – (+tender) mercy. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Condensed from “The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by C. Truman Davis, M.S. March, 1965. See: http://www.ethoughts.org/crucifixion_description.htm

5Commit: OT:6485 <START HEBREW>dq^P*<END HEBREW> paqad (paw-kad’); a primitive root; to visit (with friendly or hostile intent); by analogy, to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit, etc.: KJV – appoint,  at all, avenge, bestow, (appoint to have the, give a) charge, commit, count, deliver to keep, be empty, enjoin, go see, hurt, do judgment, lack, lay up, look, make,  by any means, miss, number, officer, (make) overseer, have (the) oversight, punish, reckon, (call to) remember (-brance), set (over), sum,  surely, visit, want. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Redeemed: OT:6299 <START HEBREW>hd*P*<END HEBREW> padah (paw-daw’); a primitive root; to sever, i.e. ransom; gener. to release, preserve: KJV –  at all, deliver,  by any means, ransom, (that are to be, let be) redeem (-ed), rescue,  surely. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

1 thought on “Forget Everything but the Messiah

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close